Population genetics and evolutionary demography of ucides cordatus: (Decapoda Ocypodidae)

José F. Oliveira-neto, Marcio R. Pie*, Walter A. Boeger, Antonio Ostrensky, Rafael A. Baggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Variation in a fragment of the mitochondrial control region was investigated to assess the population history of the mangrove land crab, Ucides cordatus L., based on 100 individuals from five locations throughout the Brazilian coast. There was considerable variability in the studied fragment, with every individual showing a distinct haplotype. When regions of ambiguous alignment were removed, 90 haplotypes were still recognized, of which only 1 was shared among locations. There was no statistically significant evidence for geographical structure in the pattern of genetic variability based on a nested clade analysis, even though the geographical distances among the farthest collection sites exceeded 3000 km. Moreover, the mismatch distribution of pairwise differences showed a smooth unimodal distribution that is consistent with a recent population expansion of U. cordatus, either when each location was analysed in isolation or when all samples were combined. Interestingly, the estimates for the duration of such expansion vary latitudinally, suggesting that the expansion of the population of U. cordatus proceeded in a southward direction. These results indicate a possible relationship between the growth in the population of the mangrove land crab and the dynamics of mangrove ecosystems during the Quaternary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-469
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


  • Brachyura
  • Land crab
  • Mangrove
  • Mismatch distribution
  • Nested clade analysis
  • Population expansion
  • Population genetics


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